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florida

travel

Florida Keys Road Trip with Mazda

We headed to the Florida keys over the last few weeks to drive the coast before the kids go back into school full time! We partnered with Mazda again and the car ride was so smooth! The exact car rental was the Mazda CX-9 linked here. The weather was perfect, around 80s, and the water was so clear! We started in Palm Beach, drove down the coast to Florida Keys, Key west, back up to Marathon and ended in Ft. Lauderdale. Here is our trip route and details for you to easily plan your next Florida road trip 🙂

How to get there:

  • We flew into FLL because the flights from NC were so cheap! FLL airport is just 40 minutes to Palm Beach where we picked up our Mazda Car and started the trip. Other airport options if road trip the Florida keys: Miami, West Palm Beach, Ft. Myers, Key west.

Florida Keys Trip Route Map:



  • Palm Beach Florida: We started our trip here to celebrate one of our friends birthdays for the weekend!



    Places to stay:
    EAU Palm Beach: If you’re looking for a 5 star luxury resort that is not packed, this is your place! We had the walk out ocean front Lanai Suite and it was perfect for kids to hop back and forth from the pool. They also have a kids camp onsite my children loved! 4 hours is complimentary a day in your stay 🙂


    The Ambassador Palm Beach: If you are looking for more of a short term or long term rental with full kitchen, this place is perfect for a small family or friends traveling. Its two bedroom, rooftop, and oceanfront!


    Where to eat:
    -Cucina, Angle Restaurant, Avocado Grill, Restoration Hardware rooftop, Buccan, Galley, Breakers.


  • Islamorada Florida: This was our next stop on the roadtrip. It took about 2.5 hour drive down the florida coast to arrive here.

    Where to stay:
    The Islander Resort: We loved this stop! The resort is beach front and very open-air spaced out. Our exact room was this “flats” Jr. Deluxe Two Queen Specialty Suite. The area has a splash park, several pools, hot tub, restaurant on site, and bikes to rent! Tons of games (ping pong, shuffle board, connect four) out side for the kids too. A great family spot for all ages!


  • Key west Florida: From Islamorada it was a quick hour and 15 minutes to key west! You can see my last Key west travel guide here.

    Where to Stay:
    Kimpton Key west: We stayed in the Winslow Bungalows here. This hotel was so cute. The pools were surrounded by the bungalows and an outdoor bar. The rooms at their own little patio too.


    Parrot Key Resort: This is a great place if you have a group of friends or family because all the rooms are two bedroom villas side by side! There are 4 different pools in the center of the resort, and all the villas are walk out to the beach area. You can’t get in the water here, but you can lay out on the sand or hammocks to watch boats pass by.


    Where we ate:
    -Latitudes (favorite spot, take the complimentary 7 min ferry to this unique dining experience!)
    -Santiagos- Cute tapas place!

    What to Do:
    -Sunset sailing tour with Blue Sail Charters was my favorite experience! We brought our own drinks and a pizza and cruised around for an hour or so with the kids to watch sunset.
    -Go Shopping & bar hopping on Duval St., try all the key lime pie.
    -Sandbar Boat tour: I wish we would of had time to do this! The sandbars are gorgeous around the florida keys and you can spend the entire day out on the water! Book a tour with Boat Rentals KW!



  • Marathon Florida: We traveled back of the Florida coast for our last stop to Marathon that is just an hour from Key West.

    Where to stay:
    Tranquility Bay Resort: I am so glad we ended the trip here. The beach houses were adorable and perfect for our family. They have tons of properties that are beachfront or face the putting greens. It was so nice to have walk out rooms to let the kids easily play outside while I drank my coffee. The resort has a lagoon pool, beach volleyball, water sports on site (jet-skis, kayaks, etc), restaurants, pools, and famous Nicklaus Design putting green. You can see the full blog post on this place & area I did with Family Traveller here!

 

travel

Packing for Island Trips with Shopbop

We have been in Florida for a few days and are road tripping the coast with the kids to enjoy the warm weather right now! I wanted to go ahead and share everything I packed for this trip and link to shop.

First off, I live for some sun dresses that are quick to throw on. I am loving this brand Lost + Wonder here on the site! I have several of their dresses in various patterns and shades.

I also packed these tops to throw on with shorts or flowy pants!

Cover ups with Bikinis are key! I am loving all of these here.



I also have been living in this shirt dress cover up since we got on Vacay! Shop it here!



Comfy Sandals are key, I brought all these with me too! Shop Sandals here.

Follow along over on my instagram to see the rest of our road trip through the Florida Keys!

travel

Key West Travel Guide

We just got back from a long weekend in the keys and we had just enough days to explore the tiny island off of Florida. We actually flew into Miami and took a yacht from there to key west (but if you’re sea sick I do not recommend, I was almost the entire time!). It takes about 7 hours via boat, but you can also drive an easy 3 hours to Key west from Miami as well. If you are not into either of those options, there is an airport in Key West you can fly directly into too. We were in town for a friends wedding, so it was a huge group of us that got to enjoy hanging out! Unfortunately Hurricane eta was headed our way on Sunday so we had to hightail it out of key west and fly home a day early. The weather the first couple of days was perfect in the mid 80s and sunny! Below is everything we loved about the island.

Where to Stay:

  • The Perry Key West Hotel: This hotel was the perfect spot right before you go into downtown key west on Stock Island. It is about 3 miles from Duval St (where all the restaurants/bars are) and it sits on a beautiful marina. We chose this location because this is also where all the wedding action was all weekend! You can see a map of the location here.
  • What we loved about the hotel: They have on site bikes, Vespas, and golf carts you can easily rent. There are two pools facing the Marina. The rooms have balconies, and we loved being on the ground floor to walk straight out to the pool. The food is amazing at their main restaurant Matt’s Stock Island!

Where to Eat:

  • Coffee/Croissants: Croissants de France, so good!
  • Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch: Banana Cafe, Blue Heaven (heard this place anytime actually), MoonDog Cafe, Two friends patio, Salute on the Beach, Thirsty Mermaid.
  • Snacks: Stop by the Raw Machine for Acai Bowl, or smoothies in coconuts!
  • Dinner: Santiagos, Cafe Sole, Latitudes
  • Dessert: Tip: Get Key lime Pie everywhere you go! Stop by Better than Sex, a dessert bar restaurant and I was told to not even have dinner before this the portions are huge and that good! We drove by it but didn’t have a night free to go. We also stopped by Wicked Lick Ice cream and loved it!
  • Bars: All of Duval St, they are all open till 4am.

What to do:

  • Water Activities: See all the ones the hotel has to offer here. I’d recommend renting a private sailing tour, going snorkeling, or renting jetskis! There are a few restaurants nearby that you can drink and also rent jetskis from as well.
  • Beach: There are several options but we heard Fort Zachary Taylor beach was the easiest to access, and Smathers Beach.
  • Shop/Day Drink: Head to Duval St and plan to walk/bar hop to all the spots!

Hopefully we make it back soon to Key West <3

travel

The Hilton Orlando X Disney World Guide

We just got back from Orlando, or should I say Disney World, and man am I beat!  Doing Disney World with toddlers in a weekend trip is exhausting!  Lainey is at a great age (5) but Roman is still in that terrible toddler age (3) where a lot of meltdowns occur very often.  I was thankful for the days we spent at the resort more than the days at the parks this trip.  I do have a few tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years with toddlers I will share below, and you can read my last blog post on Disney with toddlers here!  You can also see all the behind the scenes videos on my Instagram story highlights here.

Where we stayed:  The Hilton Orlando (conveniently located 15 minutes or less from all the attractions, and 15 minutes from the airport!)  Here are several tips on the resorts site to help you enjoy your stay.

  • My first tip is where to stay when doing Disney with kids. I was pleasantly surprised how close this resort was too everything without being overcrowded by the holiday rush for Mickeys Halloween Party (which we did our last night).  Transportation can be arranged ahead of time with your concierge.
  • Book a resort with a water park & outdoor activities for downtime between parks.  The Hilton Orlando has two huge pools, a lazy river, splash pad, slide, and outdoor sports areas all over the property!  It felt more like a tropical vacation when we relaxed at the resort.
  • Plan your days and fast passes as far in advance as possible.  This is key with toddlers that have very little patience for rides and meals.  We filled up every morning at The Hilton Orlando’s daily breakfast buffet at The Bistro. The service and food was amazing!  You can do 3 fast passes per day per ticket.  I like to plan ours first thing in the morning to knock out all the key rides before lunch!  Make sure to mention rider switch if one child isn’t tall enough to ride!  Always go back to the resort to nap :).
  • Bring a Stroller and tie balloons to it as soon as your in the park to easily spot yours! We easily rolled the stroller back into our hotel room each night.
  • Tips specifically for Mickeys Halloween Party:  Arrive to the park early (they let you in as soon as 4pm day of).  Try to go mid week for less of a crowd.  Dress up!  Bring your own trick-or-treat bags!  Hit up the rides when everyone is grabbing candy, there are no fast passes during this time so barely any waits!  If you are visiting other parks, The Hilton Orlando has packages that include Universal Orlando & 4th night free! (Harry Potter was my favorite during Halloween)
  • Get the specialty drinks at the bar, from milkshakes for the kids to patron in a mini bottle, The Hilton Orlando pool bar had the best selections!
  • All and all we really enjoyed our convenient location & hospitality at The Hilton Orlando!  It was the perfect quick weekend trip to get the Disney bug out of our system 🙂  Thank you so much to the Hilton team for having us!